Fred Sanford

From BR Bullpen

1950 Bowman #156 Fred Sanford

John Frederick Sanford

  • Bats Both, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 200 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

18-year-old Fred Sanford was signed as an amateur free agent by the St. Louis Browns before the 1939 season. He was assigned to the Youngstown Browns of the Middle Atlantic League and promptly went 9-17 with a 5.08 ERA his first year out. Fred would spend the next four years in the minors with reasonable success. 46-44 to be exact, with a 3.37 ERA.

A right-hander who was with the St. Louis Browns in three games before spending two years in the Pacific Theatre of War during World War II, Fred shut out the the New York Yankees on September 15, 1946 in his first big league start. As part of the Browns' starting rotation in 1947 he went 7-16 and in 1948 he was 12-21, leading the American League in losses.

Sanford had handed the Yankees a pair of critical defeats late in the 1948 season and was traded to the Yankees on December 13, 1948 along with Roy Partee for Red Embree, Sherm Lollar, Dick Starr and $100,000.

A lot was expected from the Utah native in the Bronx and the media and fans were soon all over him when it was apparent he wasn't going to succeed. He did have records of 7-3 and 5-4 in his two full seasons with the Yankees, 1949 and 1950, but wasn't used in either the 1949 or the 1950 World Series. New York Daily News writer Joe Trimble dubbed him the "$100,000 Lemon."

Sanford, who called the two years with the world champions "the worst two years of my life," was traded to the Washington Senators early in 1951 and from the Senators back to the Browns later that season, his last of seven big league campaigns, which concluded at 37-55 and a 4.45 ERA. Jack pitched two more seasons in the minors, both with the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League and went 24-20 with a 3.70 ERA. Closing out his nine-year run in pro baseball with a 94-91 minor league record with a 3.57 ERA.

Sanford returned to the West where he was a county deputy sheriff and later a construction inspector before retiring in Salt Lake City, UT, where he died in 2011.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1948)
  • Won two World Series with the New York Yankees (1949 & 1950; he played in neither World Series)


Baseball Players of the 1950s

Related Sites[edit]